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Morning Song – Walkin’ On The Sun

Trying to make sense of the previous generation is an eternal challenge.  Young adults experience their parents’ generation as distant fragments of memory, shards of more-or-less random cultural memorabilia transmitted electronically, and a handful of stories told and retold so that they gain significance out of all proportion.

Which is one explanation for how Smash Mouth created their first big hit, “Walkin’ On The Sun”.  Surfers, cool cats, greasers, hippies—from the perspective of 1997 they’re all part of one great cultural moment that did something great.  It’s just not entirely clear what…or why…or how…or (more importantly) why this moment doesn’t feel like that moment.

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Beauty All Around Me: Gazing Down On Rooftop Garage

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Morning Song – Wrong ‘Em Boyo

London Calling was The Clash’s great (double) album, and musically it was, in large part, the story of what happened when the London-based punk rockers fell in love with American music.

“Wrong ‘Em Boyo”, originally recorded by The Rulers, is a ska-and-rhythm-and-blues-inflected variation on the Stagger Lee story with a refrain that rings piercingly true both in its own Thatcherite times, and today in the wake of the Great Recession.

Why do you try to cheat and trample people under your feet?
Don’t you know it is wrong to cheat a trying man?
Don’t you know it is wrong to cheat a trying man?
You better stop, it is the wrong ‘em boyo.

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Noted Without Comment: This Is Where We Keep The Billionaires Edition

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Morning Song – Girl In A Country Song

It’s been two years since a female artist topped the country music radio charts.  (That wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that most radio programmers are men, would it?  No, I didn’t think so.)

But now teenaged-duo Maddie & Tae have done it—and more deliciously, they’ve done it with a bracing and biting takedown of/response to the entire “bro-country” sub-genre.  (With any luck, “Girl In A Country Song” will do for “bro-country” what Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert’s “Rally To Restore Sanity” did for Glenn Beck’s career.)

Maddie & Tae spare no man.  “Girl In A Country Song” gleefully skewers hits by bro-country stars like Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Billy Currington, Tyler Farr, Florida Georgia Line, David Nail, Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, and Chris Young; and all by the simple device of insisting on the humanity of the female characters in their songs.

Aww y’all, we ain’t a cliché;
That ain’t no way to treat a lady.

The heavy dose of Swiftian satire helps, too.

Morning Song – Rejoice

In some Christian churches today is, by ancient tradition, Gaudete Sunday, aka Rejoicing Sunday because the birth of the Lord is drawing near.

Here’s the great Shirley Caesar with “Rejoice”.

You can shout now the victory is here,
give Him praises even through your tears.
Don’t wait, it’s really not too late,
there’s so much power in your praise.

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Beauty All Around Me – Yellow Rice & Black Beans

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